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November 16th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Little 372 and John Logan Marshall


(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today’s photos are of Little 372, a plan born out of the imagination and skill of a Clemson legend, John Logan Marshall.

John Logan Marshall was born in Greenwood in 1885 and graduated from Clemson in 1909 with a B.S. in mechanical and electrical engineering. After working several years on a farm in Alabama and then at Western Electric in Chicago, Ill., Marshall returned to Clemson in 1917 as shop work instructor.

School administrators quickly took notice of Marshall's talents as an educator and, in 1919, named him an assistant professor. Two years later, he was appointed head of Clemson's wood shop.

Under Marshall’s guidance, several of his students began the Clemson Aero Club in 1927. Known today as the Clemson University Flying Club, it's one of the oldest continuous student organizations on campus.


In 1928, Marshall and seven students from the Aero Club built a single-engine, high-wing airplane that they named Little 372. The plane, made of lumber from Marshall's wood shop, had a wingspan of 23 feet and a 16-foot woodenframed, fabric fuselage. Although it was able to fly only 15-20 feet off the ground, it was much more capable than the students had ever imagined.

Following several student walkouts at Clemson during the 1920s, Marshall's passion and dedication became instrumental in improving student morale. After many lengthy wood shop discussions with his students about the importance of Clemson's future, he organized the Tiger Brotherhood society in 1928. The society, established to help protect and uphold the ideals of Clemson, is still vital today.

Little 372, thought to be the first plane built by college students in the United States, currently hangs in the S.C. State Museum.


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Scott Rhymer can be reached at scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Credit to Clemson Chronicles

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